A look at who is trending up and down the past week in Wisconsin sports, including Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Bucks guard Jrue Holiday.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback and his offseason drama (UP ⬆️)
During his Tuesday appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers really stirred the pot to keep everyone on their toes regarding his future. The four-time league MVP certainly sounded like someone who intends on playing in 2023, stating that he still believes he can win another award. The kicker? Rodgers said it would have to be in the right situation and that he's not sure if that would be in Green Bay or somewhere else. Rodgers clearly wants no part of a rebuild and at age 39 it's hard to blame him for that reasoning. The Packers have backup quarterback Jordan Love waiting and it's unlikely he'll want to be in that role again for a fourth straight season. This feels like the offseason where something will break, meaning, it's hard to envision both Rodgers and Love being back in the fold in 2023. Let the drama continue!
Jrue Holiday, Bucks guard (UP ⬆️)
After putting up a season-high 35 points against Indiana on Monday, Holiday followed it up the next night with 37 points. Milwaukee's point guard is shooting 57% from the field in the past week and 46% from 3-point range. The Bucks won both games so far this week without the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. That's putting a lot of onus on Holiday to carry the weight and he's stepped up and delivered. Next up? How about an All-Star nod for the Bucks' guard?
Steven Crowl, Badgers forward (UP ⬆️)
Wisconsin entered the season knowing on offense it had a nice one-two punch with Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl. What they didn't know is if they'd find a consistent third option to make the duo a trio. Enter Crowl. The Badgers' starting forward is averaging 12.9 points per game and has done it efficiently, shooting 50% from the field. Crowl isn't afraid to let it fly from distance in pick-and-pop situations although he's shooting just 28% from 3-point range. Against Penn State on Tuesday, Crowl had a season-high 21 points and Wisconsin needed every last one as they won by just three points. In Crowl's first eight games of the season, he eclipsed double digits just twice. In the last nine, he's scored 10+ points in eight. Wisconsin has another really good option to go to on offense.
Bucks' defense (DOWN ⬇️)
Milwaukee's defense has taken a step back recently. In the last week, consisting of five games, the Bucks yielded 114.6 points per game. What's most alarming is that they haven't exactly been playing teams that light it up on offense. Two of the five games have come against Miami, which ranks dead last in the NBA in points per game at 108.9. Another contest came against Toronto, which ranks No. 22 overall in the same category. The best of the bunch during this time frame is Indiana, ranking No. 10 in the NBA at 115.5 points per game. They hung up 119 on Milwaukee.
Connor Essegian, Badgers guard (UP ⬆️)
Essegian earned his first collegiate start Tuesday night against Penn State, replacing guard Jordan Davis. The freshman poured in 10 points in the Badgers' three-point win over the Nittany Lions and cashed in a pair of 3-pointers. Over the weekend Essegian had 14 points against Indiana and led Wisconsin with 11 rebounds. If Essegian is leading the team in rebounds it isn't necessarily a great sign for how the rest of the squad is doing given that he isn't known for being one to gobble up the boards. Still, having it pop up once in awhile on the radar is fine and a kudos to the effort with which Essegian plays. The freshman sharpshooter is quite clearly one of Wisconsin's five best, warranting a spot in the starting five. The problem that could arise is that Essegian was such a spark for the offense off the bench that the Badgers could struggle to find that now that he's in the starting lineup.